Team Culture: The forgotten hero
One traditional fundamental of team sports that has almost been overlooked by the majority recently is team culture, the Late Tackle team along with Springbok Sevens stalwart Chris Dry- the talk show with a difference brings in various personalities from all over the rugby world each week to dissect hot topics and provide unique insight into the professional game – dives straight into the importance of Team Culture following the success of a Hong Kong Sevens team that performed beyond everyone's expectations.
What is a team culture really? In sports teams are chopping and changing so much that it is rare to have the exact team for more than 2 or 3 years. This is perhaps the reason why the shift has gone to game analysis and fitness as opposed to locker room morale. This is where most teams go wrong and more often than not, do not have many fond memories of the season they have just had.
When looking in the sports world over the past couple of years, there are plenty of stories where teams that weren’t meant to win, or that succeeded expectations when everyone didn’t believe they could. In soccer, Leicester City showed the world that the little man can kick back, in American Football the Philadelphia Eagles took down the might of the New England Patriots without the help of their star player and you really need to look no further than what the Blitzbokke have created in their setup.
The South African men sit on top of the World Sevens standings as they head to defend their title at the Common Wealth Games this weekend, and most definitely will be expecting to bring back a medal. This team has been together for a number of years now and has created a model for success for many years to come as injured Blitzbok superstar and this week’s Late Tackle guest, Chris Dry, explains in the video above. The system is so good at the moment that the academy team shocked the world with their performance at the Hong Kong Sevens last weekend, coming third and giving champions, Fiji, a good run for their money.
Controversial and outspoken Late Tackle anchor, Morgan Newman, poses a very interesting question in this week’s episode – if the South African Sevens team can create a team culture that breeds winning and success, how do you convert that over to the fifteens side? Chris Dry explains what he thinks on the subject and how it's not about replicating but more about finding your own groove.
Rassie as the coach is the first step, he will install pride in the jersey and a sense of achievement to a Springbok call up that seems to be missing at the moment. What is a serious issue is that of leadership Every team that has one of these cultures has a core strong group of leaders that are going to be the example for many years to come.
It is going to be a challenge to see how Rassie builds his team core and if he can install this kind of leadership structure before the Rugby World Cup in Japan or will he be looking further to the 2023 RWC instead.
Only time will tell, but the teams that get this culture right will no doubt be the more successful outfits looking for World Cup glory.
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